As hot sauces go, heat levels are relative: What’s scorching to one palate is child’s play to another. Maybe that’s why culinary-school-trained Stuart Hutchinson, creator of a unique line of condiments called Precious Sauces, is more focused on “where” a given hot sauce brutalizes the mouth than “how much.” For example, his personal favorite among his four flavors, Liquid Gold, hits the front and sides of the tongue – first with a sweet, fruity flavor, and then with a powerful, if short-lasting, punch from habanero.
Our favorite is the African Gold, made with piri piri chiles, which pummels the back of the mouth – and lingers. Liquid Emerald gets moderate heat from jalapeños and poblanos, and Liquid Ruby is a solid medium-hot “Sriracha substitute.” Available online or at the Gilbert Farmers Market, all sauces are steeped in lime juice instead of vinegar, which means they not only taste fresh, but they need refrigeration after opening. In addition to dashing these sauces on everything from scrambled eggs to stir-fries, try marinating fish or chicken before grilling, or even stirring a spoonful into your next Bloody Mary. $7 per bottle or three bottles for $20.
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